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Creation Date: 2002-04-27
Tonight is a lame JF, but last night's was worse. You won't find it using the VCR because it wasn't there. Last night I skipped Making Of JF for the first time in weeks. Of course, the whole last week has been a bunch of pictures full of excuses of why I'm not doing a real Making Of JF. So tonight's is the best since two nights ago. What I'm doing is I'm showing you a little of what I've been thinking recently. You know how JF is all 24-bit, right? It comes right out of the renderer through anti-alias resize and into your retina at as high a color as your computer can output. Well, these pictures are not 24 bit. The top left is lossless compared to 24-bit (aka the same as 24-bit), but there's only five blooming colors. The top right is a funny one. It is actually the same picture but colors changed to fit the uniform safe colors of the web. Interesting how the skin color is sandy/pink/peach. There isn't a yellow skin color. Which means anyone seeing a picture of Yakuzas using an 8-bit monitor will actually see Hawaiian mobsters. ^_^ So what is a guy to do? Diffusion is okay for large pictures, but not smaller ones. As you see below, the B&W diffusion looks terrible seeing the grayscale source to its left. What about 8-bit diffusion? It's rough. What's this I hear about 4-bit diffusion and palleted? Well, 16 colors is small, but that's what anime is about. You see you have, black, white, skin, skin shadow, shirt, shirt shadow, shirt 2, shirt 2 shadow, pants, pants shadow, hair, hair shadow, eyes, eyes shadow, shoes, shoes shadow. That's sixteen. For highlights, you can diffuse white with the material color. Why are there two shirt colors? Who's wears a single color shirt? So that says that 4-bit is possible. Is it preferrable? Well, how about some math? Say you have a picture collection that you want to distribute to the web. You have 800 pictures, 640x480 with 256 colors. That's 234.4 MB plus palettes. Would you believe that PNG compression is a factor of 14 on simple pictures such as this? So then you have 16.7 MB. That's hefty for a lot of downloaders, but it depends on if you want to just zip it or if you want to give it a hard navigation thing with pop-up ads. If your picture has sixteen colors, you can do 4-bit with no diffusion. You get an instant halving of all your bandwidth cost, 8.4 MB. That'd be nice, but it's very unlikely. Why is it unlikely? Simply because most people don't have two shirts, one pants, skin, black, and white. You need background, more than two characters, and the beauty of diffused CG. So you add a bit of diffusion around the borders. It looks good and some people like the old-school feel of a 4-bit diffuse anime picture. I know I sure do. Diffusion is not well liked by PNG. You see, PNG is based on zlib (the same thing as in winzip) which compresses using these pattern recognization things, right? How does it do it? The first thing it does is gets rid of patterns. If you type 123123123123123123123123, it'll type 123x8 and it'll decode it to type 123 8 times. You see how zip just takes something repeated and ditches it? It's linear, so it only works across the row, not down the column pixels. The second thing it does is looks for patterns within the patterns. If you have a box, it will see the pattern in that, and will repeat the row. Random diffusion makes zlib mad. There is supposedly no pattern to randomness, so a lot of random diffusion makes it heavier than the 8-bit. We certainly don't want to decrease quality in order to increase file size. Ordered diffusion is better, but only if it's got a solid pattern. Also, you can't have much of it or it won't get it at all. What zlib does after that is anyone's guess, but it doesn't decrease size very much. You can see how simple an algorhythm zlib is, right? In fact, it's absolutely awful! You see, the original 24-bit 3d CG w/ gradient had a compression of 6.74 under PNG. That's good for a gradient, full of color, and complex to boot, but check out the lossy JPG! It's 18 kb vs the png's 166 kb. A next-to-lossless JPG version is just 32 kb.

That means one thing: lossless compression can go farther into the abyss. The problem is that the mathematicians aren't working hard enough. The computer science people are being paid very well to put in T1 (the local gameshop has this), Dual OC-48 (that's what the UW has), and 256 kb DSL (that's what I have) that they have forgotton that we will always beat their hardware. In Jav's pre-nano 2014, I am guessing that the normal computer will be Intel 10 GHz computer with 5 GB of RAM (1 GB Video RAM). My prediction is not visionary, it just uses Moore's Law that computer technology doubles every 18 months. Of course, video cards technology is doubling every six months, how about that? Hehehe, nVidia ought to slow down as they hit the nanometer scale. That's the whole thing. When nano comes about, nanocomputers will have nearly endless capability. All the audio/video/text you'll ever want will fit on one CD full of nano data. Until then, we're stuck at getting better. If my prediction is correct that nanotech will not be in use by 2014, we have twelve boring years of heavy development ahead of us. We have to get the nanocomputer built, the better software coded, and the fail-safes triple checked. But I say that there's going to be the biggest problem with high-level stuff. Modeling an atomic blast took an amazing amount of time and processors. We won't be able to do it in real time by 2014. How many physics and engineering experiments now rely on simplifications of real models instead of the real models. Being a physicist myself, I know of many projects that require heavy computation, but are instead trusted to fit similar orientations. Many theories and experiments are simply left untried because no model is possible. That's a problem with software and will likely be so until the nanotech age. But what can the average consumer expect?

What can a computer do with 10 GHz? Play DooM really well? Well, I say it'll be able to play interactive movies that are better than the ones at the theaters. I'm looking for revolution! C'mon people, let's make ourselves a movie! 10 GHz can't render Final Fantasy: The Spirits within in real-time. Why not? Because the software is built to be non-real-time. They have a scene with thousands of super-high-poly 3d actors. What to do? Replication, Level of Detail, Hardware vertex and Pixel Shaders, and similar techniques. Of course, they even had to render everything seperately and composite it. Sheesh. Who ever thought of that? No wonder it looked like plastic. Better rendering algorhythms will make high-level applications. Once we have a good movie system, we add a bit of user control, camera angle at certain points of the movie, nothing too crazy. Then we give the user control of the plot, perhaps control of the main character's decisions. Then we give them the entire kit and kaboodle. Not like Freedom Force where you pause it every five seconds so that you can target a bad guy and attack him, shouting: "For Freedom!" I mean box-office quality drama, action, fluid motions, and AI that knows your next move. Movie makers know what will happen if a character does a certain thing, so a movie that plays like an RPG won't be outrageous. But think more of the consequences: interactive home movie theaters based around the PC, games that stretch artist's imaginations and limits, movies that inspire and polarize an audience, and a richer experience. It's my plan to start this with JF using AltSci3d.

Can a young person have a heart-attack from stress? I talked to my 496 professor and I have that paper due in a week. When I talked to him today, I forgot to bring the rough draft, outline, and list of sources. So I deserved his rude comments on that. I told him that I'd e-mail them to him if he's interested in seeing them. But from then on he contradicted every statement I made even if it was technically correct or just slightly off. I tried to think of things that might calm him down, but it only worked partially well. Part of the problem is that I am not prepared yet for this big thing. It is a pretty insane class and by bad luck I happened to be first in line. But also, I am taking the class for three credits and everyone else is taking one credit. Not only am I going to have to do a double length paper, but a second paper on a second topic that will not be presented to the class. So it's the worst of the worst of the worst possible circumstances. Passing that class will be a test of my ability to quickly turn a rough draft of a paper into a graphical presentation, a half hour lecture, and a near-final draft. You see, I get a week after the presentation to turn in the near-final draft and five days to revise the final draft. It's not an impossible task, just one that will make me tear out my hair in clumps for the next two weeks straight.

My mom suggested I go to World Rhythm Festival. It sounds like fun, but the time is not on my side. I might even have to ditch the local Police Brutality meeting that I've promised three times to go to.

The IRS just cashed my check as well as UW. I have $210 left. I was actually scared buying food today that my card would be rejected. I could use my credit card, but I bet the cashier wouldn't look at me the same. I have a $89 bill from the phone company, so that'll leave me with $120. That means that I need a deposit before I pay the rent in two days. I also need to hold back going to Uwajimaya until I have my food covered. It wouldn't have been a problem if I had written Cal about that bill. I feel really stupid for not doing it. But I'm not going to do it today or anytime before Thursday. I may even reduce Making Of JF to a glorified webcam for a week.

Beyond everything else, I'm worried myself sick, literally. I hope I'm not getting my once per year illness. Last June, do you remember when I couldn't walk? Anyway, this feels like the onset of it. I'm going to pray for healing and if you can do that Reiki stuff, I'd like to tonight or tomorrow. I drank some tea to calm my stomach, but barely am able to keep my sandwich down. I think that I overexerted myself this morning with running. I should have stayed in bed or studied like I am supposed to. I just felt guilty having not ran for a week. I don't want to lose any of my good habits like JF, running, going to church, going to every class, studying late into the night, and getting early in the morning.

But I can say that I'm in high spirits. Whether I'm delusional, delerious, or genuinely happy, I don't know, but I like it. While walking to my meeting, I was thinking about stuff right now, stuff this June, and next June. I can't say that it looks good, but I am happy to get the chance to struggle. I'd be less happy if I wasn't able to struggle. Unlike geneticists and believers in destiny, I have control over my life and my fate. I would feel cheated if my life were easy, simple, or wonderful all the time. Oh, by the way, most of the general e-mails I write to you also go up at Making Of JF. It's kinda like a diary/mail/newsletter.


Talking about newsletters, isn't this website a good idea? She says that she's this helpful person and e-mails friends about good deals depending on what she and her friends like, but really she's really just a freelance advertiser. "Put your e-mail here if you want spam EVERYDAY! tee hee!" She sent a spam to everyone at UW and said, "Hey! Jenny here again... You requested this info. Click here to confirm." with a way to sign up for something that she doesn't tell you what.
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